Prometheus Unbound

by

Percy Bysshe Shelley

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Panthea Character Analysis

An Oceanid, or sea nymph, Panthea is the daughter of the Ocean and the sister of Asia and Ione. Panthea is depicted as loving and protective of her sisters and shows great compassion for Prometheus during his punishment, despite the fact that watching him suffer is very difficult for her. Although it is painful for Panthea to see Prometheus being tortured, she and Ione stay near him on the mountaintop, both to offer him comfort and for the sake of their sister Asia, who is Prometheus’s wife. Panthea travels with Asia down into the realm of the Demogorgon, demonstrating her bravery. Panthea’s name is also symbolic as it is closely linked to Pan, a pagan nature god, and the word “pantheism,” which refers to a type of pagan nature worship in which Shelley and the Romantics were interested.

Panthea Quotes in Prometheus Unbound

The Prometheus Unbound quotes below are all either spoken by Panthea or refer to Panthea. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Knowledge and Freedom Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the W.W. Norton edition of Prometheus Unbound published in 2002.
Act 1 Quotes

[…] Nature’s sacred watchwords—they
Were borne aloft in bright emblazonry.
The nations thronged around, and cried aloud
As with one voice, “Truth, liberty and love!”
Suddenly fierce confusion fell from Heaven
Among them—there was strife, deceit and fear;
Tyrants rushed in, and did divide the spoil.
This was the shadow of the truth I saw.

Related Characters: Prometheus (speaker), Panthea, Ione
Page Number: 1.648-655
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 2, Scene 2 Quotes

If such live thus, have others other lives
Under pink blossoms or within the bells
Of meadow flowers, or folded violets deep,
Or on their dying odors, when they die,
Or in the sunlight of the sphered dew?

Aye, many more, which we may well divine.
But should we stay to speak, noontide would come,
And thwart Silenus find his goats undrawn
And grudge to sing those wise and lovely songs
Of fate and chance and God, and Chaos old.
And love, and the chained Titan's woeful doom
And how he shall be loosed, and make the Earth
One brotherhood—delightful strains which cheer
Our solitary twilights, and which charm
To silence the unenvying nightingales.

Related Characters: Prometheus, Asia, Panthea
Page Number: 2.2.83-97
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 2, Scene 3 Quotes

[…] Hark! the rushing snow!
The sun-awakened avalanche! whose mass,
Thrice sifted by the storm, had gathered there
Flake after flake, in Heaven-defying minds
As thought by thought is piled, till some great truth
Is loosened, and the nations echo round
Shaken to their roots: as do the mountains now.

Related Characters: Asia (speaker), Jupiter, Panthea
Related Symbols: Fire
Page Number: 2.3.36-42
Explanation and Analysis:

Resist not the weakness—
Such strength is in meekness—
That the Eternal, the Immortal,
Must unloose through life’s portal
The snake-like Doom coiled underneath his throne
By that alone!

Related Characters: Jupiter, Asia, Panthea, Demogorgon
Page Number: 2.3.93-98
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 2, Scene 4 Quotes

Fate, Time, Occasion, Chance and Change?—To these
All things are subject but eternal Love.

So much I asked before, and my heart gave
The response thou hast given; and of such truths
Each to itself must be the oracle.—
One more demand . . . and do thou answer me
As my own soul would answer, did it know
That which I ask.—Prometheus shall arise
Henceforth the Sun of this rejoicing world:
When shall the destined hour arrive?

Related Characters: Asia (speaker), Demogorgon (speaker), Prometheus, Jupiter, Panthea
Related Symbols: The Spirit of Love
Page Number: 2.4.119-128
Explanation and Analysis:

The rocks are cloven, and through the purple night I see
Cars drawn by rainbow-winged steeds
Which trample the dim winds—in each there stands
A wild-eyed charioteer, urging their flight.
Some look behind, as fiends pursued them there
And yet I see no shapes but the keen stars:
Others with burning eyes lean forth, and drink
With eager lips the wind of their own speed
As if the thing they loved fled on before
And now—even now' they clasped it; their bright locks
Stream like a comet’s flashing hair: they all
Sweep onward.—

Related Characters: Asia (speaker), Demogorgon (speaker), Panthea
Related Symbols: The Hours
Page Number: 2.4.129-139
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 3, Scene 4 Quotes

Thrones, altars, judgement-seats and prisons; wherein
And beside which, by wretched men were borne
Sceptres, tiaras, swords and chains, and tomes
Of reasoned wrong glozed on by ignorance,
Were like those monstrous and barbaric shapes,
The ghosts of a no more remembered fame,
Which from their unworn obelisks look forth
In triumph o’er the palaces and tombs
Of those who were their conquerors, mouldering round.
Those imaged to the pride of Kings and Priests
A dark yet mighty faith, a power as wide
As is the world it wasted, and are now
But an astonishment; even so the tools
And emblems of its last captivity
Amid the dwellings of the peopled Earth,
Stand, not o’erthrown, but unregarded now.

Related Characters: Prometheus, Asia, Panthea, Ione
Related Symbols: The Hours
Page Number: 3.4.164-179
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 4 Quotes

We come from the mind
Of human kind
Which was late so dusk and obscene and blind;
Now tis an Ocean
Of clear emotion,
A Heaven of serene and mighty motion.

From that deep Abyss
Of wonder and bliss
Whose caverns are chrystal palaces;
From those skiey towers
Where Thought’s crowned Powers
Sit watching your dance, ye happy Hours!

Related Characters: Prometheus, Asia, Panthea, Ione
Related Symbols: The Hours
Page Number: 4.93-104
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Prometheus Unbound LitChart as a printable PDF.
Prometheus Unbound PDF

Panthea Character Timeline in Prometheus Unbound

The timeline below shows where the character Panthea appears in Prometheus Unbound. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1
Authority and Resistance Theme Icon
Prometheus is bound to a mountaintop in the Indian Caucasus. Panthea and Ione, two sea nymphs, are seated at his feet. It is dark but near... (full context)
Authority and Resistance Theme Icon
...so that Jupiter himself cannot punish anything on earth for speaking the words. Ione and Panthea tremble with fear as the Phantasm approaches: “clothed in dark purple” with a “scepter of... (full context)
Christianity and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
...spasm.” She points out that there is a spirit traveling towards them through the dawn. Panthea recognizes the “world-wandering herald,” Mercury, and that the Furies, “Jove’s tempest-walking hounds,” follow behind. (full context)
Authority and Resistance Theme Icon
Christianity and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
...They show this man bleeding and a hopeful nation transformed into a violent, murderous regime. Panthea and Ione also see these images, when they glance up from where they are hiding,... (full context)
Authority and Resistance Theme Icon
Christianity and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
...and hope that “begins and ends in” him. Ione sees two doves, and she and Panthea weep over their song. The spirits tell Prometheus that, in the prophecy they bear, he... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 1
Authority and Resistance Theme Icon
Christianity and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
Nature, Imagination, and the Sublime Theme Icon
...alone in a fertile valley in the Indian Caucuses. She is waiting for her sister, Panthea, to arrive and, while she does, she notices that spring is breaking in the valley.... (full context)
Authority and Resistance Theme Icon
Christianity and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
Panthea arrives and explains that she is late because of a troubled sleep in which she... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 2
Nature, Imagination, and the Sublime Theme Icon
Asia and Panthea travel through a gloomy forest interspersed with caves and boulders. Two fauns are resting on... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 3
Authority and Resistance Theme Icon
Nature, Imagination, and the Sublime Theme Icon
Asia and Panthea find themselves on clifftop surrounded by mountains. Panthea recognizes the chasm in the mountain, which... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 4
Authority and Resistance Theme Icon
Christianity and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
Asia and Panthea enter the cave of the Demogorgon. A dark, shapeless form, the Demogorgon sits on the... (full context)
Authority and Resistance Theme Icon
The Demogorgon opens the night sky and shows Asia and Panthea a series of chariots racing by, circling around the earth. The Demogorgon tells them that... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 5
Authority and Resistance Theme Icon
Christianity and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
The Spirit of the Hour takes Asia, Panthea, and the Demogorgon into the heart of a cloud. The Spirit tells Asia that “the... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 3
Christianity and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
On the mountaintop in the Caucuses, Hercules unchains Prometheus. Asia, Ione, Panthea, and the Spirit of the Hour gather around him. Prometheus tells Asia and her sisters... (full context)
Knowledge and Freedom Theme Icon
Nature, Imagination, and the Sublime Theme Icon
...Earth calls up a childlike messenger, the Spirit of the Earth, to lead Prometheus, Asia, Panthea, and Ione to this cave, where there once was a temple in which people worshipped... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 4
Knowledge and Freedom Theme Icon
Christianity and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
Prometheus, Asia, Panthea, and Ione are gathered at their cave in the forest with the Spirit of the... (full context)
Act 4
Knowledge and Freedom Theme Icon
Christianity and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
Nature, Imagination, and the Sublime Theme Icon
Panthea and Ione are sleeping outside Prometheus’s cave. They wake to hear a chorus of spirits... (full context)
Authority and Resistance Theme Icon
Nature, Imagination, and the Sublime Theme Icon
The spirits disappear but their song continues to spread through the world in “Aeolian modulations.” Panthea and Ione see a small, floating islet, around which a sleeping infant, the Spirit of... (full context)
Knowledge and Freedom Theme Icon
Authority and Resistance Theme Icon
Christianity and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
Nature, Imagination, and the Sublime Theme Icon
Panthea and Ione rise when they hear the voice of the Demogorgon addressing the world. The... (full context)